Credibility interviews for students
The key areas you need to think about
Ability to speak English: if you are unable to communicate in English, you will be refused immediately.
Knowledge of intended course of study and place of study: how much do you know about the course of study you have chosen with us? What qualification does it lead to? What other available options have you undertaken? Have you looked at the University's website and location?
Academic background: what are your reasons for beginning or returning to study now? If there are any gaps in your study history, how can these be explained?
Immigration history: did you comply with the conditions of any previous UK visas? Have you ever had any visa refusals - if so, why? If you have studied in the UK previously were your studies successful, and have you considered the Student visa time limit?
Finances and personal circumstances: would anything about your personal circumstances make it difficult for you to complete a course of study? How will you be funding yourself and where have the funds come from, i.e. from wages, family, etc? What are your plans after study on returning home?
How should I prepare?
Applicants who have been issued a CAS by the University of Reading are not expected to have any issues as a result of credibility interviews, however it is always important to be prepared and look at the questions that you could be asked below and consider how you would answer them.
Note: if you are applying to study at the University of Reading for the first time it is important that you thoroughly research the details of the course(s) you are applying to study with us including content and that you are aware of all the facilities and support services we have to offer you. Find out more at www.reading.ac.uk.
It is important to remember these interviews are not the place to discuss your individual visa application, and if you feel you need to discuss any aspect of your application please contact the International Student Advisory Team before submitting your paperwork.
• Why have you chosen to study in the UK?
• What are the benefits of you studying in the UK compared to your home country or USA/Canada/Australia?
• What reasons made you choose this university?
• How did you find out about it?
• Which other universities have you considered?
• Where is the university?
• Do you know anyone else who has already studied there?
• Do you know how large the university is?
• Why did you choose this course and how does it relate to your previous study?
• How do you explain the gaps in your study history?
• What is the relevance of the course to your future career path?
• What qualification will you receive?
• How long does your course last?
• How is your chosen course assessed?
• Do you know what level your course is at?
• Did you consider any other course?
• Does this course offer any professional recognition?
• Are you planning to stay in the UK on completion of your course to study for a higher award?
• Are you thinking of transferring to another institution on completion of your course?
• What facilities are you expecting at the university?
• Will you need help in finding accommodation?
• Do you know what accommodation is available at the university?
What are credibility interviews for?
The interviewer is required to assess whether you meet the English language requirements to study in the UK and also if you are a ‘genuine student’. It is important to attend the interview if you receive a request to do so otherwise your visa application is likely to be refused.
If you are applying from inside the UK
You may be asked to attend a credibility interview as part of the application process. Interviews are normally carried out by a secure telecommunications system (similar to Skype), although sometimes they will consist of a face-to-face interview.
If you are applying from outside the UK
The Home Office intends to interview most Student applicants before granting them immigration permission to come to the UK. Therefore, you might be sent an email asking you to attend an interview as part of the application process. You should check your email (including the 'junk' folder) regularly as your application is likely to be refused if you are asked to attend an interview and you do not do so without providing a reasonable explanation.
During your interview, a Home Office member of staff will ask you about your course, where you want to study and your reasons for studying in the UK. The report of the interview will be sent to the entry clearance officer who makes the decision on your Student application. The entry clearance officer must be satisfied that you are a ‘genuine student’, and that your English language ability is at the correct level, otherwise you might be called for a further interview and/or your entry clearance application may be refused.
Need more help?
If clarification is needed on any aspect of the Rules or you have questions about your visa application, please email the International Student Advisory Team at firstname.lastname@example.org where we will respond to you as soon as possible, alternatively telephone +44(0)118 378 8038.